Simon Idika Written by Simon Idika · 1 min read >

Development in third world countries can be said to be slow or stale. Asides from factors such as late independence and low resources, one major cause of this slow growth or underdevelopment is bad leadership. The nature and mentality of the people at the top of government positions largely determine the speed of advancement in a nation.

Leadership has been observed to be critical to the progress of any institution. This is why it is studied widely in Business Schools and other corporate organizations. These institutions understand the value of good leadership their growth and how it cannot be trivialized.

Leadership according to Myles Munroe is defined as the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose.

One of the most striking characteristics of leaders in developing countries is that they place great importance in establishing close interpersonal relationships with subordinates as well as people in higher authority. Subordinates expect personalized relationships, protection, close guidance and supervision. Leaders assume responsibility for the followers and in return, they seek loyalty. The interaction between leaders and followers resemble parent-child relationship in developing countries. This prevalent leadership style is referred to as ‘paternalism’.

The paternalistic relationship is hierarchical, the superior assumes the role of a ‘father’ who protects and provides for the subordinate, whereas the subordinate voluntarily renders to the superior, and shows loyalty and deference. The leader is assumed to ‘know better’ for the subordinates. As such, he guides the subordinate in every aspect of his/her life. The paternalistic leader gives advice (often times unsolicited) and guides employees in personal, professional issues.

I like to believe a good leadership system starts from good people. Hence the importance of changing the mind-set of people towards good leadership.

This concept of good leadership advocacy is the one remedy to the problem of underdevelopment in third world countries. With the right minds in top positions, countries can steer the resources they have (little or not) to maximize the potential available for optimal results. This is why I think leadership trainings and advocacy should be largely promoted for the development of these countries such as Nigeria.


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